About Me

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I am a freelance writer. I've covered the Cincinnati Reds, Bengals and others since 1992. I have a background in sales as well. I've sold consumer electronics, advertising and consumer package goods for companies ranging from the now defunct Circuit City to Procter&Gamble. I have worked as a stats operator for Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, the College of Mount St. Joe and Colerain High School.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Red Invite Local Pitcher to Training Camp

The Reds invited RHP, Matt Klinker, to Spring Training.  The former Lakota West ace will report to Goodyear, Arizona on February 16 with the rest of the pitchers and catchers.

Klinker also pitched for Furman University, known for being the alma mater of former Bengal player and coach Sam Wyche.

The 6'4" 220lb righthander, was selected by the Reds in the 15th round of the 2007 draft.  He was 11-10 with a 3.79 ERA in 2010.  He split time between Double-A Carolina and Triple-A Louisville.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Xavier Beats Temple 88-77 Brian Grants Jersey Retired

Tu Holloway led Xavier on the court with 21 points and nine rebounds but Brian Grant's pre-game speech aided in the effort.

Xavier, who is wounded by several injuries to players that were expected to contribute, beat the team that was expected to run away with the Atlantic-10 conference.  In beating the Owls, Xavier set an Atlantic-10 record by winning its 35th straight home conference game.  It eclipsed the record held by Temple from 12-10-87 through 2-19-91.

Grant who predated the Cintas Center was lightly recruited out of Georgetown High School but grew into a star for the Musketeers.  His former teammate, Chris Mack, is now the Xavier coach and is continuing a winning tradition.

"Brian wasn't recruited by many Division I schools.  He came to Xavier as part of a great recruiting class.  He was the least talked about," Mack remembered.  "It didn't take us long to realize he was pretty good.  He used every opportunity to work and get better."

Grant told the current squad to take advantage of every opportunity.  "Today your opportunity is Temple," Grant said.

Grant was the eighth player picked in the 1994 NBA draft and crafted a 12-year career in the NBA.  Known for his solid defense and tenacious rebounding, he has a current struggle on his hands.

His hand trembled with the onset of Parkinson's Disease as he thanked former teammates and Sister Rose Anne Fleming before his retired number 33 was unveiled.  Aaron Williams, who also played in the NBA and Jamie Gladden made the trip to honor their friends.

Mack remembered throwing water balloons with Grant from a dormitory room facing Victory Parkway.  They hit 30 or 40 cars before they hit a police car.  They quickly put down the shades but they opened a lifetime of achievement as friends.

Grant has set up a fund to help find a cure for the disease that he fights individually, daily.  The motto "Shake Until We Find a Cure"

Mack says that Grant still finds a way to take advantage of opportunities.

"I think he looks at the disease as an opportunity to help find a cure," Mack said.

Xavier hit some big shots in a tight game to take advantage of their opportunity against Temple.  The win kept the Musketeers in a tie for the A-10 lead at 5-0. Since losing to crosstown rival Cincinnati on January 6, Xavier has won all five conference games.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Votto and Reds Agree to a Three Year Contract

ESPN.com is reporting that the Reds and MVP Joey Votto have agreed to a three-year $38 million contract.

Votto is eligible for arbitration and would get a huge raise based on his MVP season.

By signing Votto now, the Reds avoid the adversarial arbitration process. They guarantee that the heart of its offense will be around awhile. They also headed off arbitration by signing Jay Bruce to a deal earlier. They could easily save money in the long run, considering the vast upside to these two players.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Xavier Beats Dayton 81-76

Tu Holloway scored 24 points to lead Xavier to a win over the team that they have competed with the most.

Xavier has beaten Dayton 30 straight times in game played outside the UD Arena.  Dayton has not won a game in Cincinnati since Jimmy Carter was president.  They beat Xavier in Riverfront Coliseum on January 10, 1981 before any of the current rosters were born.

Xavier also tied an A-10 record with 33 straight conference wins at home.

Chris Johnson hit a 3-point shot with three minutes left to give Dayton its last lead. There were 15 lead changes and 10 ties.  Xavier's largest lead was six points and Dayton held a four point lead.  Those were the largest margins.

Dayton and Xavier Ancient Rivals Meet

Xavier's first varsity game was on February 20, 1920.  It's first opponent was Dayton.

Dayton won that one 24-18 and leads the series 82-70 but Xavier has beaten Dayton in Cincinnati 25 straight times.  The Musketeers have won 29 straight against Dayton on any court outside of UD Arena.

Also, a win at the Cintas Center tonight will tie an Atlantic 10 record for consecutive home wins in conference.

Xavier has won 33 straight A-10 games.

Dayton (14-4, 2-1 A10) enters the game with seven wins in its last eight games.  Xavier lost to Cincinnati on January 6 but the Musketeers (10-5, 2-0) has won two games in a row.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Jocketty Signs Renteria and Lewis

Walt Jocketty quietly got the Reds what they needed.

Edgar Renteria, who has been on two World Champions, including the San Francisco Giants of 2010, has signed with the Reds for one year.

Renteria will back up Paul Janish, according to Jocketty, who went on the air with Lance McAllister on 700WLW, to explain the signing.  Renteria will replace Orlando Cabrera, who brought saavy to the young Reds this season.  Janish will be the starter but Renteria, who broke in with the Florida Marlins as a teenager in 1996. The next season he delivered the World Series winning hit against the Cleveland Indians.  The 33-year old was slowed by injuries but passed a physical.

Freddy Lewis, a lefthanded batting, 31-year old outfielder with speed, also signed a one year contract.

Lewis can play centerfield and leftfield.  He will improve the Reds outfield defense.  He fills the Reds need for a leadoff hitter, when he's in the lineup.  Lewis brake in with the San Francisco Giants but spent 2010 in Toronto.  He hit mostly leadoff but had a problem with his feet that slowed him down some.  Still he hit 31 doubles and five triples.  He also stole 17 bases.

Look for Lewis to bat leadoff against some tougher lefties.  He will be used as a defensive replacement too.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Xavier Holds On To Beat Dayton 63-59

Amber Harris missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw opportunity with Xavier clinging to a 61-59 lead with 10 seconds left.

Luckily for the Musketeers, Meaghan Askew, dove on the floor to come up with the offensive rebound.

Two seconds later Harris hit both free throws to ground the Flyers and get a hard fought win for the Lady Musketeers in the first conference game for both teams.

"I was upset that I missed the first free throw, but Meaghan yeah, she saved me,"  Harris said.  "I've had an off year with free throws but I know I can knock them down.  I got the second chance."

The Flyers put a scare into the nation's ninth ranked women's basketball squad but turnovers spoiled the Flyers bid for an upset.

Harris, who led all scorers with 23 points, hit a jumper with 4:11 left to give Xavier a seven point lead. Justine Raterman, hit a three to keep Dayton in the game.  Harris hit another jumper to answer but Dayton's Samantha Mackay scored on consecutive possessions and cut the lead to two.

It was the second run that Dayton used to threaten the Musketeers.  They overcame an 11 point deficit also in the last 10 minutes.

"They had a couple runs, where we turned it over and they took advantage," Dayton coach Jim Jabir said.  "They are a great defensive team but we kind of did it to ourselves.  Then Amber hits a couple shots and they took advantage."

Harris took over as one of the top three players in NCAA Women's basketball is expected to do.

Raterman had 12 points for the Flyers, as did Mackay.  Kari Daugherty, the younger sister of teammate, Kristen Daugherty, led the Flyers with 19 points.

Ta'Shia Phillips contributed 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.  Harris also had 11 rebounds.

"When you play the number nine team in the nation, you're going to struggle during the game.  They are going to take advantage of it," Jabir said.  "You need to play a near perfect game to beat them.  I'm not going to walk out of here with my head down.  I thought we played very well."

Xavier and Dayton Women Tied at Halftime

The Dayton Flyers are living up to their name.  They like to run and take the first shot they can.

They have scored over 100 points three time this season, including a 112-07 double overtime loss to Penn State.

Xavier dominated early but Dayton went on a 14-0 run that tied the game a 23.

The Flyers kept up the pace and built a brief 31-26 margin but Xavier scored the last five points of the half to knot the score at 31, leading into the break.

Xavier Women Start Conference Play Hosting Dayton

After hob knobbing with the Stanfords and Dukes of the women's basketball world, the Xavier Musketeers put its 11-2 record on the line against an old neighborhood rival.

The Dayton Flyers enter the Cintas Center with a 9-5 record and also play its first conference game of the season.

Dayton has won seven of its last nine games, including the last four.  The just defeated #25 Boston College on Monday.  Its only other game against ranked teams resulted in a loss to #24 Michigan State on November 15.

Xavier built a 10-0 resume but lost a tight game to #3 Duke on the road.  Then were blown out in Stanford as the #8 Cardinal handed the Muketeers its second consecutive loss in Palo Alto.

Xavier rebounded to defeat Missouri on Wednesday.  The remainder of Xavier's schedule will be all in conference.  They ran the table last season and have 28 of its last 29 A-10 contests.  The last conference loss was 74-65 setback at Temple on February 25, 2009.  Xavier has won four of the last five meetings against the Flyers.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hall of Fame Honors For Blylevin, Alomar and Miley

Bert Blylevin was not press friendly and Robbie Alomar had a nasty incident delay his induction in to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.  Dave Miley,  who is a hall of fame human being, is also being honored.  Miley, who toiled over 20 years in the Reds organization, will be inducted to the Cedar Rapids baseball Hall of Fame this weekend.

Blylevin should have been a no brainer but unfortunately the Baseball Writers association.  However, he was not friendly to the press. Too many members held an unprofessional grudge against the pitcher, who clearly belonged in Cooperstown long ago.  Over 22 seasons, Blylevin won 287 games.  That is an average of 13 wins per season.  He completed an astounding 242 games.

Alomar spit on umpire John Hirshbeck, an act for which he apologized. The two men put the ugly incident behind them years ago. Yet, the writers held it against him and did not vote for him.

As Hal Bodley put it in his column on MLB.com, "It baffles the mind that so many voting members of the BBWAA can change their minds so dramatically in just 365 days. One thing is certain: Alomar's impressive credentials didn't change one iota."

The Reds Barry Larkin narrowly missed election and although his qualifications will not change, he stands a great chance to be elected next year.  Why the delay?  Ask those with a vote. 

Bret Boone got one vote.  I would like to meet the guy who voted for him.  As much as I liked Boone as a player, he clearly does not belong.

Miley was the Reds manager briefly from 2003 to 2005.  He didn't have a lot to work with.  He was a top draft pick by the Reds.  He spent eight seasons in the Reds minor league system.  He was a catcher that topped out in Triple A.  After his playing days ended he managed in the minor leagues for over 20 years.  He had back-to-back 80 win seasons at Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1989 and 1990.  He was the Midwest League Manager of the Year in 1989.

Bob Brenly, former major league catcher and manager, will be inducted with Miley.  The Ohio University grad, is currently a broadcaster for the Chicago Cubs.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cincinnati Signs Lefthanded Hitting OF Jeremy Hermida

The Cincinnati Reds signed Jeremy Hermida to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.

A lefthanded hitting outfielder was on general manager, Walt Jockety's shopping list.  Scott Podsednik and incumbent Laynce Nix were the most likely free agents to fit the bill.

Jockety signed Hermida to fill the lefthanded hitting spot on the bench.

Hermida was Florida's first pick (11th) overall in the 2002 draft.  He has been in the majors six seasons with 2010 split between Boston and Oakland.  He was limited to 73 games and wasn't effective.

He has shown some power in the past.  From 2007 thru 2009 he hit 18,17 and 13 home runs respectively in the Marlins spacious home.  His power numbers should improve with Great American Ball Parks cozy right field.  He has averaged .259 in his brief career with his best season at .293 in 484 at bats during 2007.